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Four Chapters on Freedom: Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: 1 Paperback – 1 January 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 264 ratings

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Product description


I have read more than one translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and this, by far, is the best one. Swami Satyananda Saraswati presents a very clear, direct explanation of each sutra in English. There is both a Sanskrit and English version of the Sutras before the English explanation. Each sutra is treated individually with Swami Satyananda Saraswati's insights which illuminate the text so that the most knowledge can be gained from reading about very ancient yet important yoga precepts. I read a lot of ratings which mark a text down for its "complexity", and I don't know if that is necessary here. I would say the text is thorough, which is what you want when a yogi translates and interprets the text. You want to get both a context and a further foundation for further study, and this book provides both. This is definitely 5 stars, and if you enjoy it, try looking at other works by the same author. He's one of the most intelligent authors I have come across on the subject of yoga. --D. Casey

've read a couple different texts on the commentary of the Yoga Sutras but this is the best yet. The book is comprehensive and easy to read. Each sutra is thoroughly discussed extensively. Swami Satyananda Saraswati's comments helped changed my perspective on my everyday outlook and each time I revisit the text I notice something I didn't recognize the time before. It's like the routine of driving to work and sitting at a red light on the way and one day noticing a tree that seems to appear out of nowhere; however, the tree is mature and permanent. It's clear the tree has been there since "forever", though I never saw it of all the times I've traveled down the familiar road. That's the familiar experience I'm talking about whenever I refer back to the text. This book is a treasure of knowledge and is essential for householders on the path. --Chandra

For beginners, this book is not about asana (postures)and there are very few verses about asana. If one looks for asana, then they should read the book Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. This book is for more serious people who are seeking to practice Raja Yoga and desiring enlightenment and self realization. This book talks about how to get into samadhi (Chapter 1: Samadhi Pada) Samadhi meaning higher level of concentrated meditation or dhyana; how to perform sadhana (chapter 2: sadhana pada)Sadhana is a way of discipline in pursuit of a goal; Chapter 3 is Vibhooti pada, which is advanced and discusses about Samyama (Samyama is achieved with the combination of samadhi, dharana (concentration) and sadhana) and final chapter is Kaivalya Pada. Kaivalya Pada is about siddhi (siddhi meaning performing accomplishment and attainment of moksha). Siddhi can also mean miracles and attainment of eternality on one's own. This book is a commentary not a translation work as written by some reviewers. Yoga Sutra was written by Patanjali more than 25 centuries ago. There were many great people such as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Satchithananda, other than Swami Satyananda Saraswati, had authored books on Yoga Sutras by Patanjali in recent century. How is this book different from other books? Author had implemented Patanjali Yoga Sutras in his life and in his disciples' lives and students lives and had seen the benefits out of them. His real life experience speaks through his commentary work. By reading this book, will one be able to practice advanced topics such as samadhi and samyama and siddhi on their own? My answer is NO. This book work provides an excellent theoretical knowledge and one has to seek a Master Guru, who follows Patanjali Yoga Sutra way of life, can guide and hand hold him/ her. In the western world, yoga is used more of a physical exercise and I have not come across any Western Guru who was able to guide me in Samyama, dharana and dhyana. I also found that there are not many Yoga Gurus, who can teach and guide in advanced topics such as samadhi and samyama. I know very few Gurus teach Samyama, one is Bihar School of Yoga's Trainer Swamijis and another is Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. --Shankar Ganesh

About the Author

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, born on the 24th of December, 1923, was a spiritual leader and yoga expert responsible for popularising the concept of yoga outside India. He is the author of over 80 books, including Dynamics Of Yoga: The Foundations Of Bihar Yoga, Tattwa Shuddhi: The Tantric Practice Of Inner Purification, and his best known work, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. He established the International Yoga Fellowship in 1956 and the Bihar School Of Yoga in 1963. He died on the 5th of December, 2009, at Rikhiapeeth, Jharkhand.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Yoga Publications Trust; 1st Edition (1 January 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 8185787182
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-8185787183
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 530 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.97 x 2.54 x 22.48 cm
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ India
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 264 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
264 global ratings
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Reviewed in India on 22 February 2019
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Reviewed in India on 20 January 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pranam Swami Nirajananda Saraswati Maharaj ji ...
By Gitimaya Das on 20 January 2019
Ist i Naman to Swami Nirajananda Saraswati Maharaj and This Book is Very Helpful to me for understand the Anxient Maharshi Patanjali 196 Sutra ..
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Reviewed in India on 4 June 2020
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Reviewed in India on 19 October 2019
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Patricia Hutton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 July 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable book, arrived in perfect condition
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 February 2021
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christina bosley
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 February 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars A “must have”
Reviewed in Italy on 26 March 2020
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